Thursday, 25 March 2010

RE: Redbridge Beijing Partnership Visit - 2010

It's 11.45 pm on Thursday 25 March and we've another fulfilling and wonderful day. Teachers went off their respective schools this morning and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the largest vocational college in the world – very interesting and it gave me a further insight into what the ‘new’ China is about – the college develops courses to provide skills for current and future expanding industries whereas in the UK we seem to run courses as a reaction to past skills gaps. Proactive versus reactive!

The Chinese authorities are very keen to develop partnerships in schools and colleges and welcome opportunities to work globally for mutual benefit. This afternoon I visited Hong Miao School and watched teachers from Snaresbrook delivering their lesson about the parts of the body - great fun, a good example of student centred, interactive and inclusive teaching styles which we in the UK do so well - the lesson ended with us all singing and acting "head, shoulders, knees and toes". Our end of day debriefing session, which we have every evening, gave everyone the opportunity to share the highlights of their day, celebrate the achievements and plan for tomorrow.

Tomorrow (Friday) is the big day - a formal Good Practice Conference which will give the schools a platform to publically share and reflect on the week's activities and to make a commitment to continue the partnership with details of the practical arrangements and solutions. More about this in tomorrow's blog. The day finished with teachers doing a variety of things such as going out for a meal or a wander around the Food Street in Wangfujing (5 teachers, not mentioning any names, ate scorpions, centipedes and critckets on sticks but I declined) or strolling around Qian Men amongst other things as well as uploading today's diary and images for their Redbridge school communities. They also need to hand in their conference presentations at 7.00 am tomorrow morning so that out translator can look through in advance to ensure accurate translation. So much pressure - they're totally worn out but on a high!

Good night

Annette Carlon
Redbridge Secondary ICT Consultant

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